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Naga areas “should not be touched”: Manipur’s Naga MLA tell HM

Manipur MLAs

DIMAPUR, JUNE 9: Naga MLs of strife-torn Manipur has told the Centre that that Naga areas, “should not be touched” in case of any arrangement of a separate administration is made for any community to settle the ongoing crisis and that Nagas should be consulted beforehand to avoid further issues.
The 10 Naga MLAs of Manipur recently met Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Delhi in relation with the ongoing conflict between Meiteis and Kukis.
Briefing media persons at Niathu Resort here, Awangbow Newmai, the Legislature Party Leader of Naga People’s Front in Manipur Legislative Assembly and Minister in the Biren Singh-led Government, who had landed at Dimapur on Friday along with the other MLAs, informed that they were happy with Shah’s response and mentioned that the issue of separate administration, if and when, will be considered only after there is peace in the State and only after due consultation with the Meitei, the Kukis, and the Nagas.
“We have made no demand to the Centre but in the event of any arrangement (for creating new administrative areas in line with demands by Kukis), Naga areas should not be touched as it will create more problems”, said Awangbow Newmai.
He further added that it had also been conveyed to Shah that any arrangement that may take place, should come as per the ongoing peace process between the Government of India and the Naga people.
He said the Government had assured the delegation that the three major communities in Manipur ~ Kukis, Meiteis and Nagas ~ will be consulted and consensus will be sought before arriving at any plan.
“Nagas are peace loving people and we are against any kind of war. We also don’t want our neighbours to engage in a war. As legislators, we are trying our best to bring both the communities into an understanding so that normalcy is restored in the State”, Newmai said.
Appreciating Shah’s swift actions to control the escalating tensions, Newmai said that the MLAs conveyed to the Union Minister their concern over how the situation had deteriorated and emphasised their commitment to fostering understanding and negotiation between the communities.
He said that the Naga MLAs have been trying to reach out to the people, both at civil and Government level, to show their concern over the crisis and that they want the issue to be resolved in Manipur.
On questions of the attempts that the ethnic conflict is being showcased as a religious one and with whom the Nagas in Manipur stand, Newmai refrained from making any comments on the religious aspects but responded that there are lots of rumours going on and emphasised the peace-loving nature of the Naga people. He noted that they were making efforts to advocate for negotiation and Nagas are not siding with anyone but are following their own way.
The delegation of the Naga MLAs from Manipur had met Shah on Wednesday at his invitation. They were accompanied by Outer Manipur Lok Sabha MP Dr. Lorho Pfoze of the Naga People’s Front.
The 10-member group comprised 5 NPF MLAs (Ram Muivah, Khashim Vashum, Awangbow Newmai, Keishing Leishiyo, and Losii Dikho), 2 BJP MLAs (Dinganglung Ganmei and SS Olish), 2 NPP MLAs (N Kayisii and Janhemlung Panmei) and Independent MLA J Kumo Sha. MLA Losii Dikho confirmed that the trip to Delhi was in response to an invitation from Amit Shah and mentioned that that for the first time in many years, there is now a Naga MLAs forum in Manipur.
The MLAs, according to Vashum, landed at Dimapur as some of them intended to depart to different places from here.
(Page News Service)